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Posted On Saturday, 06.15.2013 / 12:26 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Marchand plans to see more of Keith throughout Final

CHICAGO -- One of the more intriguing battles that began to take shape during Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday was the one pitting Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith against Brad Marchand, the Boston Bruins agitator.

It was a tad surprising to see Keith and his partner, Brent Seabrook, logging big minutes against Marchand's line with center Patrice Bergeron and Jaromir Jagr. Only because top-line Bruins center David Krejci leads all scorers in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with 23 points in 17 games.

Despite that, Marchand didn't see it that way.

"Keith and Seabrook pretty much played the whole game," Marchand said. "They were matched against everybody."

Marchand, who is fourth on the team in scoring with 13 points, isn't exaggerating either. Keith actually led all players in ice time (48:40) for Game 1, while Seabrook logged 39:12.

Posted On Friday, 06.14.2013 / 5:05 PM

By Corey Masisak - Staff Writer / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Blackhawks' Keith takes minute-munching to extreme

CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith spent more time on the ice Wednesday than any player has in a game during the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and he could tell Thursday morning.

Keith logged 48:40 of ice time in Game 1 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final, a 4-3 overtime victory against the Boston Bruins. He eclipsed Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg by four seconds for the most playing time in the game, and it was the most since Ryan McDonagh and Marc Staal each saw more 49 minutes in a three-overtime victory for the New York Rangers against the Washington Capitals in the first round of the 2012 playoffs.

"Personally, I didn't feel that great at the start of the game," Keith said Friday at United Center. "I felt better as the game went on. I don't know if that is because we had the three days off between rounds. We hadn't had three days off in that entire [Western Conference Final]. I felt better at the end of the game, but I was definitely feeling it yesterday.

"Yeah, I definitely noticed it. I think anybody who didn't notice it would be lying, but when you play almost two games, you notice it."

Posted On Friday, 06.14.2013 / 4:35 PM

By Kevin Weekes -  NHL Network Analyst / - Weekes on the Web

Weekes: Goaltending in Final something to behold

CHICAGO -- Corey Crawford and Tuukka Rask were both fantastic in Game 1 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final.

You have to look at not only the number of shots they faced, but a lot of those were quality shots. I think Rask had something like 38 scoring chances against. The number of quality chances both guys faced was crazy, and we’re talking Grade-A, point-blank shots.

Look at how talented both the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins are. A lot of these opportunities are prime scoring chances coming from top guys. I thought both goalies were just outstanding.

Posted On Friday, 06.14.2013 / 4:15 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Bruins' Horton practices, will be game-day decision

CHICAGO -- Forward Nathan Horton returned to the ice Friday during practice as the Boston Bruins resumed preparations for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

Horton and Tyler Seguin split line rushes with the top unit alongside center David Krejci and wing Milan Lucic. Boston coach Claude Julien reiterated to the media after practice that Horton remains day-to-day with an undisclosed injury he sustained in the first overtime of Game 1 Wednesday. A decision on whether he is in the lineup will be made Saturday.

Horton wasn't made available to the media after practice.

"He's day-to-day and that's where he is," Julien said. "That's why he practiced [Friday] and we'll have to make a decision on Nate [Saturday]. But it was encouraging to see him out there today, and if he feels good, he's in the lineup."

Posted On Friday, 06.14.2013 / 8:00 AM

By Michael Spengler -  Special to NHL Green / - NHL Green Slapshots™

New life for old equipment

Fans in the New York City metro area can donate their used hockey equipment this weekend (Friday-Sunday, at the NHL powered by Reebok store). Upon collection, non-profit Restore Hockey will refurbish all donated gear, which will be delivered to youth community-based hockey programs in need of support.

Accepted items include helmets, shoulder pads, elbow pads, hockey pants, shin pads, gloves, skates and sticks. Donors will receive a 15% discount at the NHL Powered by Reebok store.

Your used equipment can help the environment and grow the sport we all love.  Read on to see how three brothers from Connecticut gave 35 children from Chalestown, Massachusetts the opportunity to play the game of hockey.

Mike Spengler is the President and Co-Founder of Restore Hockey, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that works to recycle used hockey equipment back into the game.

Posted On Thursday, 06.13.2013 / 8:03 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke - Senior Managing Editor / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

3-OT loss brings back memories of 1990 for Neely

CHICAGO -- If anyone knows what the Boston Bruins are going through in the aftermath of a draining triple-overtime loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday at United Center, it would be team president Cam Neely.

When Andrew Shaw banked an already deflected shot off his knee pad and past Tuukka Rask for the winning goal 12:08 into the third overtime to give Chicago a 4-3 victory in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, Neely felt a very familiar pain as he watched from the team's management box.

Twenty-three years earlier, Neely -- then a star power forward with the Bruins -- lived through a similar nightmare in Game 1 of the 1990 Final. The Bruins and the Edmonton Oilers were locked in a 2-2 tie past the 15-minute mark of the third extra period at Boston Garden when Edmonton's Petr Klima, who had played sparingly throughout the game, scored the game-winning goal.

That game ended 55:13 into overtime; it's the longest game in Stanley Cup Final history.

"Mentally, it wasn't tough to recover from that," Neely said Thursday at the Bruins' hotel. "Physically, it was the same for both teams."

Posted On Thursday, 06.13.2013 / 7:06 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Bruins' Krug set to atone for Game 1 gaffe

CHICAGO -- Boston Bruins defenseman Torey Krug isn't about to let one mistake get the best of him. He realizes there are more games to be played in the 2013 Stanley Cup Final -- and more opportunities for a little redemption.

The rookie knew he'd be a target of the media Thursday, one day after an ill-advised pass ultimately led to a critical goal for the Chicago Blackhawks, who rallied to defeat the Bruins 4-3 in triple overtime in Game 1 at United Center.

But the 22-year-old was stoic, answered every question as best he could, and appeared already geared up for Game 2 of this best-of-7 series Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

"The best players forget mistakes like that and you learn from them," Krug said. "I have a short-term memory, so for me, it was kind of get ready to get back out there when my name is called and in overtime, I was ready to go."

Posted On Thursday, 06.13.2013 / 6:51 PM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

'Hockey breaks' don't worry Bruins heading to Game 2

CHICAGO -- Boston Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference is 34 years old and he's been in the NHL since 1999, so he knows how to handle tough breaks, such as the one that went against him Wednesday in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Johnny Oduya scored a game-tying goal with 7:46 remaining in regulation that went into the net off Ference's left skate. Thursday, Ference said he immediately shook it off and went about the business of trying to win the game.

"You'd drive yourself crazy," Ference said when asked if that puck-off-the-skate goal haunted him after the Bruins' 4-3 triple-overtime loss. "I might have when I was 22 or something like that, but at this point it was out of my mind on the next shift. At this point you almost kind of shake your head at it and say, 'What can you do?' You hope somewhere down the line you shoot one off of one of their feet.

"That's the way playoffs go. There are certain plays you can control and there are certain plays you wouldn't change a single thing you did and the puck goes in. I'm not wasting any energy thinking about that."

Posted On Thursday, 06.13.2013 / 6:09 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Bruins' Horton termed 'day-to-day' by Julien

CHICAGO -- Boston Bruins forward Nathan Horton is day-to-day heading into Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

Horton was injured with about seven minutes left in the first overtime of Game 1 Wednesday after a seemingly routine push to the chest of Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson.

Bruins coach Claude Julien addressed Horton's condition Thursday. The Blackhawks won Game 1, 4-3, in triple overtime.

"You look at what he's accomplished and he's a big part of our team," Julien said. "He had a bit assist on the [Milan] Lucic goal on Wednesday. He's listed day-to-day right now, so we'll see."

Posted On Thursday, 06.13.2013 / 5:43 PM

By Brian Hedger - Correspondent / - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Blackhawks could alter defense matchups in Game 2

CHICAGO -- An interesting strategic matchup went overlooked in the aftermath of the Chicago Blackhawks' 4-3 triple-overtime victory against the Boston Bruins in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Throughout the nearly six periods in Game 1 Wednesday night, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville opted not to match his top defense pair of Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook against the Bruins' top line of Milan Lucic, David Krejci and Nathan Horton.

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